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The ministers do not need 45 advisers

The ministers do not need to have 45 advisers and if any minister who is alleged to have appointed such a large number should clarify the matter, Deputy Minister Ranjan Ramanayake said on Monday.

He told a media conference that a minister should not appoint a large number of advisers and if anyone of them had appointed such a large number he should come out and reveal the real reason for doing so.

“The present government should not follow in the footsteps of the Rajapaksa regime,” he said.

Responding to a question by a journalist about the allegation that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had helped an MP who was said to have obtained a forged passport, he said he was unaware whether it happened or not.

“I don’t think the Prime Minister will encourage the breaking of immigration and emigration laws to help this MP,” the deputy minister said.

He said, however, there was something wrong with the way in which the law was enforced. “There are many found with forged passports in the Negombo remand prison while an MP who has committed a similar offence is allowed to move about freely.

“In Sri Lanka, those who are accused of corruption are considered heroes while those who fight against corruption are ridiculed. Some insult the parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) Chairman Sunil Handunnetti about his fingers while JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake is ridiculed over his relationships,” he said.

Responding to another question on the setting up of special courts to deal with corruption, the deputy minister said the committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to look into the matter has decided to fast track the process of setting it up.

Referring to the Paada Yathra, he said it was organized by group of people tainted with fraud and corruption and that paada yatras could not topple the government. (Yohan Perera)